LearnHow to Improve Your Coding Skills & Confidence: 5 Simple Tips


Andrew Chalkley
writes on November 25, 2022

Starting out in the professional development arena is pretty daunting. I am self-taught and I don’t have a degree. Broaching my first full-time position was pretty scary. What would the interviewer think?

I thought I knew how to improve my coding skills on my own, but did I really? I wish I could have applied the knowledge I have today, back when I was interviewing for those early career positions.

If you’re ready to learn how to improve your coding skills and boost your confidence, keep reading to discover my five tried and true tips.

How to Improve Your Coding Skills & Boost Your Confidence

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

First, you need to build your own confidence in your own abilities. You can only go so far following along with tutorials online. You need to build something of your own to improve your coding skills.

In many professional settings, you don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but it can be helpful for a learning exercise. Build your own blog in PHP or build a JavaScript plugin. Get a feel for how these things work, so you’ll have the confidence to use pre-packaged applications and plugins in your job. Fail fast and often.

Don’t feel obligated to finish your practice projects if you feel you’ve learned what you wanted to—things can get boring if your goal of learning a particular thing has already been accomplished.

2. Create a Project & Release It

Now you’ve practiced, it’s time to actually use your knowledge to create a project and share it with the world.

Is it a website? Is it a mobile app? Is it a RubyGem? Seeing people use your code in the real world gives you more confidence.

For my first project, I built a RubyGem, not because I had any real use for it but because I saw it didn’t exist yet. I released it and didn’t expect anything of it. When I got a tweet thanking me for it and saw it was being used in a production site, it gave me a great confidence boost.

Related Reading: 5 Ways to Self-Motivate While Learning to Code

3. Contribute on GitHub

Contributing to other Open Source projects on GitHub can be a great way to get additional experience and confidence. You can learn from others’ code and feedback on your commits.

Your contributions don’t even have to be in code. You can modify a wiki or update documentation. This shows you understand coding skills and can articulate how to use them!

4. Give a Talk at a Meetup

I’ve given talks at meetups, I’ve trained in corporate settings, and I’ve released courses on Treehouse. And you know what? Every time I’ve felt a little scared and inadequate for the task. But almost every time I’ve done it and put myself out there, I’ve found that my feelings of inadequacy were unjustified.

After giving a talk, even on something like “What I learned from trying out <Insert Framework/Language Here>,” I’ve found that a lot of people are less experienced. Why are they there in the first place listening to you? You’ve done something they haven’t, and you’ve just become an instant expert and valuable resource to them.

Related Reading: How to Start Coding

5. Talk to Everyone

Finally, when you talk to people about their experiences coding you’ll soon find out they have the same feelings of doubt and inadequacy. Just knowing you’re not alone can give you the confidence to move forward in your development career.

Improve Your Coding Skills With Treehouse

Treehouse offers in-depth Techdegree programs and courses you can take to improve your coding skills. Our courses provide instruction in everything from JavaScript to Python. If you’re ready to learn coding, sign-up for a free trial of Treehouse today!


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24 Responses to “How to Improve Your Coding Skills & Confidence: 5 Simple Tips”

  1. really usefull tips thanks! teem tree house

  2. Nitesh Kumar on March 16, 2018 at 2:14 am said:

    Thank you to Give idea that how to improve Coding skills.

  3. Bob Robinson on August 22, 2017 at 12:18 am said:

    It is not possible to master everything in web programming. But there are some programmers who are better than others by learning something new to help to program better. Here are given very beneficial tips and tricks to programming. Thanks for sharing

  4. That’s great!!!Thanks a lot!!

  5. Harald on June 8, 2014 at 9:04 pm said:

    Correct. I’ve done my project with release before I practiced – that was not the best idea cause of security issues. OK, that was in the early 2000th … My not-ended projects are about 10, that is stuff from ideas for database structures to nearly ended. When something runs It’s good – who likes bug fixing. But my problem to release a great open source project is to keep it small enough. Maybe it works when I’m a pensioner.

    Practice, talking and contributing is great, but reading books may also improve (I heard about it 😉 ).

  6. These are really great tips. I am also self taught, thanks to Dr. Google, and creating my own projects and fully commiting to them allowed me to learn a lot really fast. I guess you can say i already had a lot of confidence to begin with since i started my web design business when my skills where in their infancy, but it was the commitment to my paying clients that motivated me to give more and allowed me really push myself. After all, who wants to be a shitty designer/programmer, right?

  7. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks a lot

  8. I literally just had this feeling yesterday! I had my first real interview for a web position. Honestly, I don’t think I’m ready for it (not being pessimistic here). It did give me some helpful insights on what I need to work on so I can get the next job though. That experience along with this article have been great tools for showing me what I need to do to feel more “job ready”. Thanks Andrew.

    • Andrew Chalkley on June 8, 2014 at 10:28 pm said:

      The fear of rejection can be debilitating. I’m glad you put yourself out there. It helps diminish fear and helps you focus on what you need to do!

  9. Thanks Andrew. This is very humble and inspiring.

  10. Good tips! But what if that person isn’t me…but someone whom I’m collaborating with? How do you motivate your team that comprises of web designers and developers?

  11. What an absolutely lovely humble way of putting it Andrew. Very inspiring indeed! Thank you Sir. 🙂

  12. Samuel Lopez on May 29, 2014 at 4:29 pm said:

    Excellent advice! Thank you much!

  13. Break all the things and then fix them!

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